Talk to KitchenTown to ideate or scale your food brand.
Talk to KitchenTown to ideate or scale your food brand.
KitchenTown champions innovation in all its forms so we can drive positive change in our food system from the ground up.
We play a critical role in the development, commercialization, and launch of impact driven and transformational food products.
We are actively building a global community of food entrepreneurs and innovators to support each other and create a new sustainable food system.
Growing a food company is not like growing any other kind of company. The food space is filled with variables—from refrigerated distribution needs to seasonal ingredients to packaging ideas that no machine can do (yet)—and being in service of those emerging companies means we have to listen deeply, stay adaptable, and hit the ground running when our founders do. We’re a house of exhilarating, organized chaos. But that’s the energy of creating something new: it’s scrappy and inspired.
We bring structure and support to that chaos and help our founders harness and direct their energy towards improving our food system. We provide infrastructure and expert guidance, and the right tools at the right times. We tap our vast network of mentors and industry veterans to help guide the next generation of entrepreneurs, and give them space to guide each other too. At the end of the day, founders understand founders better than anyone, and leaning on each other is how some of them grow the most.
So that’s what we do. We’ll help you ideate, create, and grow your company in the smartest way possible. And if there’s anything we don’t know or don’t have already, we’ll be the ones to find it for you. Every company that comes through KitchenTown enriches our community with the experience and knowledge that future founders can use. The world is changing quickly, and we’re here to help you feed it.
Founder & CEO
Rusty is a lifelong entrepreneur. With an extensive background in building companies, he understands the variables involved in startups. In 2014, he founded KitchenTown to help food entrepreneurs ideate, create and grow their business in the smartest way possible. He advocates for founders, cultivates relationships, and fosters partnerships that strengthen and inspire innovation for the next generation of food startups. Feed him kale, croissants, or crickets. He’s game.
Director of Strategy
Sarah is a researcher, strategist, foresight practitioner and designer with almost a decade of experience working across the global food and agriculture industry. She formerly led the Food Futures Lab at Institute for the Future. She’s a dynamic facilitator and trusted advisor who loves supporting food changemakers to make sense of emerging trends and build more resilient, equitable, and humane food systems. You can also find her rock climbing, experimenting with new ways to cook vegetables, and doing elaborate craft projects.
Director of Product Innovation
Isha has a lifelong background in food science, including a special expertise in alternative protein and novel ingredients. Prior to KitchenTown she was at Beyond Meat and a senior food scientist at Clara Foods, and she loves the entire development process: from benchtop to prototyping to commercial trials to seeing the product on shelves. Isha is a research-driven scientist who loves being at the forefront of innovation.
Director of Operations
Elliot helps early stage food startups tackle day-to-day challenges while keeping the KitchenTown facility running smoothly. He has a background in restaurants, specialty food, and whole animal butchery, with a passion for maintaining strong local food systems. He spends his free time cycling around the Bay Area or relaxing with family.
Eric has worked in restaurants since he was 15 years old and received his culinary and nutrition education from Johnson & Wales. He has worked for some of the most respected chefs in the bay area including Traci des Jardins and Micheal Mina. Eric is the Executive Chef at The Commissary, in San Francisco. Previously, he worked at the Michelin starred restaurant Madera in Menlo Park. Eric resides in Oakland where you can find him training in Jiu Jitsu and gardening.
Michelle is an experienced food scientist with a history of working in the food and beverage industry. Before her start at KitchenTown, Michelle worked at Bolthouse Farms in R&D and at Kraft Heinz Company in quality control. She is skilled in product development and commercialization. Michelle loves seeing products come to life from ideation to product launch.
Tali loves telling stories about the incredible startups who come in and out of KitchenTown’s busy doors. She’s experienced in turning complex information into inclusive narratives, having worked on communications for a climate change think tank after a History of Science degree at Yale. She loves food for its ability to connect and nourish, and has spent time working on farms, bakeries, and at farmers’ markets.
Danny is an experienced facilities manager with technical expertise in sanitation. He has worked across a variety of industries, can fix anything, and is a passionate long-distance cycling enthusiast.
Maricruz is a jane of all trades. She has supported many different functions of a food business including production, product inventory control, customer service, and quality assurance. She owns all administrative duties in the office and feeds people delicious food at all hours of the day.
Albanie is a collaborator, creator, and maverick. She entered the food industry as a server and caterer, and has since done marketing, content creation, and research. She loves exploring new food trends and is passionate about designing a more sustainable and just food system. When she’s not working, you can find Albanie hiking, boxing, painting, or enjoying the hottest new plant-based meal in town.